Monthly Archives: May 2013

What can we do about global warming? (to the tune of ‘What can we do with the drunken sailor?’)

The following was posted to the blog as a reply to the recent “Here we go again” posting, but it so good it deserves a wider audience.Hope you like this song.
Best wishes, Oliver Swingler
Ps. If you do, please feel free to pass it on!

What can we do about global warming?
(to the tune of What can we do with the drunken sailor?)

Chorus: What can we do about global warming?
What can we do about global warming?
What can we do about global warming?
Shrink our carbon footprint!

1. Walk, cycle, bus and train
Car share, avoid the plane
Holiday at home, learn to love the rain
Shrink our carbon footprint!

2. Insulate homes and get them lined
Stop oil, gas and coal being mined
Use tidal, solar, wind and find well
Shrink our carbon footprint!

Chorus

3. Organic, local, seasonal eating
Recycle, mend, turn down the heating
Share, cooperate, stop competing
Shrink our carbon footprint!

Watch out! The seas are rising
Cry out! The seas are rising
Bale out! The seas are rising
Save our lovely planet!

4. Dont believe the greenwash, keep on prying
Tax millionaires, stop envy buying
Climate change deniers, theyre all lying
Shrink our carbon footprint!

Chorus:
We can do a lot about global warming
We can do a lot about global warming
We can do a lot about global warming
Save our lovely planet!

Lyrics by Oliver Swingler and Making Waves choir, Cullercoats, UK Version 3 March 2013

Interview on WORLDVIEW with Denis Campbell re the fracking campaign

Tories Make UK “Fracking Mad’: Even Charles Worries

“Andy Chyba, Co-Founder of The UK Anti-Fracking Network joins World View with Denis Campbell to discuss the Tories mad dash to frack for natural gas across the UK and the potential newest ally in the anti-fracking/climate change wars, none other than Prince Charles.”

Here we go again – Bridgend frackers Coastal Oil & Gas blight more areas of the Vale of Glamorgan

News from The Vale Says NO!
Extracts from recent dialogue regarding new Coastal Oil & Gas applications in the Vale of Glamorgan

FROM LIZ MILWARD:

We had a very positive leafletting session in Llantwit yesterday, with many people saying that they would ‘do something’. There was a particular interest in a petition.

Denise met one of our local (independent) councillors who had interesting things to say. Basically, he says that all the three current planning applications are in tory-held council wards, and that all the local councillors are now in favour of COG’s proposals. Whilst this is bad news for those communities, it does at least clear the decks so to speak! Nationally the Conservative party is clearly behind fracking, so it is not a surprising development.

It seems to me that our current best hope is the Welsh Government. There is very interesting research from the USA that finds that success in defeating energy projects is positively associated with two things:

  • a local campaign (however small)
  • a dispute over jurisdiction – for example between local and national government

The research also suggests that even where permission is granted, with these two conditions, the projects don’t get built.

With all that in mind, I suggest that we organise a meeting, to involve all interested parties, to plan a campaign focussed on the Welsh Government.
wordpress_header_nofrack.jpg

FROM ANDY CHYBA:

We know the score re test drilling – the council will NOT even consider turning down any TEST drilling applications after what happened at LLandow.

However, this ought to be seen as an opportunity to raise awareness and stoke up the NIMBYs in the Bonvilston/Dyffryn area – which could be very useful, given the demographics. We can continue to win the arguments and get everyone primed for the crucial battles when fracking is on the table.

FROM LOUISE EVANS:

I received this from Jane Hutts office this week

“Hi Louise
See below for details of the three Coastal oil and Gas applications.

2013/00335/FUL : Land on the west side of the road leading from Llancarfan to Bonvilston (Grid ref. 305209:172962) – Drill an exploration borehole to test for conventional gas reserves in the Devonian
2013/00334/FUL : Unit 20, Sutton Spring Road, Llandow Trading Estate – To drill a single vertical exploration borehole
2013/00333/FUL : Site located in field 400m along an un-named road between the A4266 and Duffryn (grid ref 308215 : 171623) – Drill a single vertical exploration borehole

The deadline for representations at present is 17th May 2013, and they are not due to go to Planning Committee, but that may yet change if they are ‘called in’ by Councillor(s).”

The Vale have set a precedent in allowing the previous application to go ahead – seeing as we weren’t even allowed to mention the Frack word in the appeal, then the only way we can try and stop these application is on genuine planning issues raised by the 24 hour a day drilling noise etc.

Raising awareness is obviously a good idea, so that anyone affected can have their say, but I think throwing the Frack word around won’t get us far with the planning committee anymore!

Who is Fracking the UK?

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/newsdesk/energy/investigations/who-owns-rights-drill-gas-uk

Extract:
A Chinese state owned oil firm, CNOOC, linked by human rights organisations to allegations of rights violations in Tibet and Myanmar (Burma) is an investor in the UK’s onshore drilling industry – according to an analysis of publicly available data by Energydesk.

The oil giant, which completed its acquisition of global oil and gas firm Nexen in February has also been linked to oil spills in the South China Sea.

The company it holds a stake in, Igas, has an interest in a license area which includes chancellor George Osbornes constituency.

Igas is one of the largest holders UK drilling rights alongside fellow unconventional gas explorers Dart, Cuadrilla, Viking and Coal Mine Methane firm Alkane. CNOOC is also linked to Cuadrillas co-owner, AJ Lucas through a Hong-Kong based investment fund.

The ownership of many of the firms proved impossible to verify as the full list of share owners was obscured by large nominee share holdings through financial institutions. One firm, Viking, is owned by an investment division of Barclays.

The latest development comes as the UK’s onshore gas industry enters a period of rapid change – thanks to the prospect of tax breaks and exploratory drilling licenses for unconventional gas.

Whilst global energy giants including BP have suggested that UK shale gas will not be a ‘game changer’, smaller firms – many from Australia, Asia and Canada – and some UK aspiring gas barons have taken an interest in the UKs relatively low-cost exploratory drilling licenses

This means they would be amongst the first to benefit from any profits in the industry.

The UK’s Department Of Energy and Climate change (DECC) has made significant efforts to make all license and block ownership information public and their data, showing ever UK onshore drilling license and its owner, is now available on a Google Map here.

Fracking Dangers Debate at UWC-Atlantic College

UWC-Atlantic College Global Faculty students created this highlight video from a two hour debate on Fracking during a 3-day Sustainability Conference at the school in March. Created by Samia from Bangladesh, Mark from Northern Ireland and Ruyi from China, this video highlights the debate and then speaks with the students about their experience. Those debating were Gareth club from Friends of the Earth, Sissel Dyhraug from Statoil in Norway, Gerwyn Jones from Coastal Oil and Gas in Wales and Denis Campbell of World View Show.

Ken Corn and Lucy Male of Atlantic College are Global Faculty advisers at Atlantic College which is loacted at St. Donat’s, Llantwit Major, Nr Bridgend.

Drones conference in Cardiff

DRONE WARFARE:
FROM WALES TO GAZA
All Wales Anti-Drones Conference
Saturday 25 May, 1.30 – 5.30 pm
Wallace Lecture Theatre, Main Building
Cardiff University, Park Place
The US launches hundreds of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and reports show thousands of people killed, including hundreds of children, while Israel uses drones to launch regular strikes on the besieged people of Gaza.
The Welsh Government uses millions of pounds of our taxes to facilitate the testing of drones at Parc Aberporth. The Israeli military are a frequent presence there. Do we want our government to be complicit in war crimes?
This important conference will discuss what drone warfare is & how we build the anti-drones movement in Wales.

Speakers include –
RAFEEF ZIADAH
Palestinian Spoken Word Artist & Activist
Senior Campaigns Officer with War on Want
CHRIS COLE
Secretary of the Drones Campaigns Network & Founder of Drones Wars UK blog
HARRY ROGERS
Bro Emlyn for Peace and Justice
HAYA AL-FARRA
Palestinian from Gaza
ARFON RHYS
Secretary, Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales / Cymdeithas y Cymod
JILL EVANS MEP
Former Chair, CND Cymru and peace campaigner
For more info. and full conference programme email – Cardiff_troopsout
Free admission, but donations welcome
Sponsored by Abergavenny and Cardiff Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Cardiff Stop the War Coalition, Cardiff S.T.A.R andothers.

Bridgend Christian School being inspected by ESTYN

Estyn is the education and training inspectorate for Wales. It is a Crown body, established under the Education Act 1992. Estyn is independent of the National Assembly for Wales but receives its funding from the Welsh Government under Section 104 of the Government of Wales Act 1998.

Estyn inspects quality and standards in education and training providers in Wales.

This week, I am informed, they are inspecting the Bridgend Christian School.

You can see what I have had to say about this establishment, and its previous Estyn Report, here: https://bridgendgreens.wordpress.com/?s=bridgend+christian+school

I sincerely hope that ESTYN see fit to actually challenge the miseducation that goes on here.

The ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) is utter nonsense and surely cannot be sanctioned by ESTYN as acceptable. The last inspection – following principles established by Michael Gove, saw fit to skirt around the issue that they teach ridiculous nonsense to innocent children who should be able to expect the state to try to protect them from such abuses.

If you think I am over-stating tings, I would urge you to read this article from the Rationalist Association:
http://rationalist.org.uk/articles/4146/a-fundamental-problem

At least the Bridgend School is not on the list of such schools in receipt of taxpayers money. But given that Estyn is funded by our taxes, should we not expect them to establish at least some sort of standard of intellectual rigour in what is being taught to the Welsh kids (admittedly less than 40 of them currently) being brainwashed and inculcated (using established cult methodologies).

We should all be embarrassed to have this institution in our midst.

Nuclear energy in a form that may not be that objectionable? Taylor Wilson TED Talk: My radical plan for small nuclear fission reactors

Nuclear energy in a form that may not be that objectionable?

Open your mind to consider this young man’s fission vision.

Taylor Wilson was 14 when he built a nuclear fusion reactor in his parents’ garage. Now 19, he returns to the TED stage to present a new take on an old topic: fission. Wilson, who has won backing to create a company to realize his vision, explains why he’s so excited about his innovative design for small modular fission reactors — and why it could be the next big step in solving the global energy crisis.

http://www.ted.com/talks/taylor_wilson_my_radical_plan_for_small_nuclear_fission_reactors.html

Yesterday’s election results

Party Councils Gain/loss Councillors Gain/loss
CONS 18 -10 1116 -335
LABOUR 3 2 538 291
LibDem 0 0 352 -124
UKIP 0 0 147 139
GREENS 0 0 22 5
NOC 13 8 N/A N/A

Modest gains by the Greens overshadowed by surge in UKIP vote and moves us from 4th to 5th position electorally.

The BBC analysis of our performance in the 34 councils that voted yesterday is fair enough:

“In the battle for attention amongst the minor parties, there is no doubt Nigel Farage of UKIP easily outgunned the new leader of the Green Party in England and Wales, Natalie Bennett. But consider their relative starting points in local government.
Before these elections, the Green Party held 134 council seats across England and Wales. In other words, far, far more than UKIP. In Natalie Bennett’s first big electoral test as leader, the Greens haven’t made a huge leap forward, with a net gain of just five seats. One striking result came in Warwickshire, where the Conservative leader of the county council lost his seat to the Greens.

The Green Party acknowledge that UKIP has “touched a nerve” with voters, but some in the party are irritated that an outfit like UKIP, with what they see as simple but implausible ideas, is attracting so much attention and support.

While they have lost their place as the fourth biggest party in local government in England, the Greens can take comfort in some encouraging results of their own.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22396433

Amongst those encouraging results is a resounding win for former Wales Green Party Elections Co-ordinator in Oxford. Well done Sam Coates!

http://mycouncil.oxfordshire.gov.uk/mgElectionAreaResults.aspx?ID=113

More analysis here:

http://greenparty.org.uk/news/2013/05/03/greens-celebrate-steady-success-across-county-despite-ukip-protest-vote/